Stephen Cleobury has been associated with one of the world’s most famous choirs, King’s College, Cambridge for thirty-six years. His work at King’s has brought him into fruitful relationships with many leading orchestras and soloists, among them the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Philharmonia, Britten Sinfonia, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the distinguished ensemble, Endymion, and he has worked with many artists – singers and instrumentalists – of international repute. He complements and refreshes his work in Cambridge through the many other musical activities in which he engages.
At King’s, he has sought to enhance the reputation of the world-famous Choir, considerably broadening the daily service repertoire, commissioning new music from leading composers and developing its activities in broadcasting, recording and touring. He introduced the highly successful annual festival, Easter at King’s, from which the BBC regularly broadcasts, and, in its wake, a series of high-profile performances throughout the year, Concerts at King’s.
From 1995 to 2007 he was Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers and since then has been Conductor Laureate. During his time with the Singers he was much praised for showcasing challenging contemporary music and for creating an integrated choral sound from this group of first-class professional singers.
Since 1983 he has been closely involved in the Cambridge University Musical Society, one of the UK’s oldest music societies, where he has nurtured generations of young talent. Highlights have included Mahler Symphony No. 8 in the Royal Albert Hall and Britten War Requiem in Coventry Cathedral on the 50th anniversary of its bombing.
Beyond Cambridge he is in demand as a conductor, adjudicator and leader of choral workshops. He is also a renowned organ recitalist, and a past President of the Royal College of Organists. He was appointed CBE in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours.